Tag Archive | series

Owl and the Electric Samurai, Kristi Charish

Owl and the Electric Samurai, Kristi Charish

Owl and the Electric Samurai (The Owl Series) by [Charish, Kristi]

Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy

I loved the first two novels but this one was, to be honest, a bit of a slog 😦
I’ve loved Owl, her kind of skewed world views, and yet underneath you know she cares deeply for her friends, that she’s moral, will always do the right thing, for people anyway even if artifacts are a bit of a grey area….but in this book she came over as a bit self centred, kind of blowing off issues that her best friend Nadya was dealing with, acting pretty cold towards Rynn at times.

I love Rynn, but in this book they felt more like two people working together who didn’t really like or respect each other, and though its clear Rynn cares deeply for Owl, would do almost anything to keep her safe she really wasn’t looking out for what was going on in his life, seeing his POV, seeing what he was worried about, didn’t really take Nadya’s issues seriously, only as far as they affected her.
This book seemed to be Only Worry About What Concerns Owl…and I didn’t like that, that wasn’t the person I knew from book one.
Then too there’s the whole Electric Samurai…its not Owl V the ES, its Owl searches for the ES. The Electric Samurai itself doesn’t really come into play til the end.

I had issues with Owl and Rynn jumping form one hot-spot to another, escaping by the skin of their teeth, jumping from country to country, and the non stop action that was hit, done and over just in time for the next issue got dull.
I wanted more in depth detail, to know exactly how they did things, how they escaped, not toss in a few whiz bangs and they’re out, but that’s how each drama began to feel to me. Just more of the same, another place where everyone wants a piece of Owl and she escape barely to fall into the next drama.
I’d have liked a bit more day to day details, more conversations that didn’t just involve “how are we getting out of this mess” type of thing. Less skin of teeth and bombs, less Carpe doing some amazing tech stuff, characters suddenly dropping in unexpectedly and a little more reality.
Back to one of my bugbears, the This just couldn’t happen problem. There’s an IT Acronym IFTTT (If this then that) where if one thing happens its the trigger for another action, and when I’m reading I want to believe that if this one thing/action/event is real it could trigger a defined reaction, but too often in this story I didn’t feel the first issue could be real, it lacked that believability factor, which meant that the action that followed felt wrong to me.

There were parts I enjoyed, and the whole story is so unique that it was really refreshing to read when the series started, but now its seems to have moved away from that and I just need a little less action a little more conversation….A bit more reality even though its fantasy.
How does Owl get from country to country without getting stopped at usual channels ect, without ever having any luggage? She never seems to eat or drink, need to shower, sleep, feed Captain, you know, all the everyday dross that makes a story feel real.
I don’t need loads, just a little to ground her, make things feel real.
She just flips from one country at the end of a chapter and on first page of next chapter she’s where she needs to be, and I’m thinking “but how??” Especially given Captain is with her. Travelling with a huge cat isn’t easy…and where does she keep getting cat carriers?
It is a very complex world blending real world with the fantasy game playing base Shangri-La, but it felt increasing detached to me from the characters and settings we started out with in book one.

Then the ending…no………How could Kristi leave us like that? I’d almost decided this was it for me, wondering whether I really wanted to continue with the series but I can’t stop at this point, I’ll have to see how it plays out and hope a return to the styles of books one and two are forthcoming.

Stars: Three, a bit hard going this installment. Hopefully book four will bring a return to the style of the first two.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Faking It, Christine d’Abo

Faking It, Christine d’Abo

Faking It (Ringside Romance Book 2) by [d'Abo, Christine]

Genre:  Romance, LGBTQIA

I really enjoyed book one in this series, which was also a first read of Christine’s books. Book two is Max and Grady, Max being involved in Ringside as well as owning a busy nightclub.
I loved that we met Zack and Nolan from book one again too.
Grady kind of stumbles into Max life, escaping from his bullying father, his unwanted fame and now he discovers he’s not escaped.
Dad’s taking advantage of the Gay side of him, hoping to cash in on the Liberalist views, marry Grady off to the son of a wealthy connection and bring even more profit to his investments.
Poor little rich boy….and yet Grady’s likable, we can see that underneath his seeming to despise his father he really just wants his approval. But that’s not been forthcoming for a long while, and Grady isn’t prepared to marry a stranger just to get it.
Max seems like an honest guy, he didn’t try to rip him off when he had the chance, didn’t snap photos or tell stories to the press, and he wonders – would he pretend to be engaged if they agree a suitable recompense? It would only need to be for a few weeks.
Max’s first thought is no, he feels sorry for Grady, is of course strongly attracted and knows that’s reciprocated but no, just no, he can’t do it. Well, until something happens to change his mind on the spur of the moment.

Its a fun story, I liked Grady and Max, loved seeing updates on Zack and Nolan but overall it was a bit ..slow. There was lots going on but it was all very subdued, understated and when it came to the wrap up, I just couldn’t really see it happening that way. It was such a complete turnaround that it didn’t feel real, and that’s a kicker for me, situations need to feel that they could happen. This time I didn’t see how it could roll out that way.
Its still a good read, a well written story with the good sex v story balance that book one had for me. I hate when sex overtakes the story, for me that just doesn’t work, but this read had it just right.

Of course the lack of drama and the ending that didn’t work for me will be perfect for others. Such is life so make your own judgement, if you liked soft and understated romance this could be just right for you. I love drama and an element of realism, and that lack was what brought it down for me.

Stars:Three, a good story but I felt for me it needed more drama and a bit more realism in the ending.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Sex in the Sticks, A Love Hurts Novel, Sawyer Bennett. A Bride for a Day, Matchmaker Cafe Series Book 2, Pam Binder

Sex in the Sticks, A Love Hurts Novel, Sawyer Bennett
Sex in the Sticks: A Love Hurts Novel by [Bennett, Sawyer]

Genre:  Romance,

I’m a great fan of SB’s novels, and I think the only one so far that wasn’t a hit for me was Uncivilised. Now its been joined by this one. a good-ish book, well written of course but content? Romance? well, for me it was kind of meh…I can see others love it – well, I’m glad but it didn’t hit the expected spot for me.

I guess Valentine had a lot to do with that. I just didn’t really like her, found her shallow and almost vacuous, kidding herself her blog was “work”.
She’s a trust fund lady, has never know life without riches, luxuries there for the taking, spending – as she says $10,000 dollars on a weekend isn’t that unusual for her. She wasn’t unkind to those who didn’t have her kind of money but there’s no way she could understand them or their lifestyles.

The blog: Well, as a blogger and blog reader I know that for many blogs are Big Business, a full time job and very important.
Valentines a bit more like me, a hobby blogger. I do it to get ARCs as I could never afford to indulge my love of stories without them, Valentine does it for ? Well, I’m not really sure. Seems to be she thinks of it as a job, but a non paying one.
Some of her comments verged on cruel, and that kind of thing can be funny, but needs care and when she’s identifying who the other people are, but they don’t know about it I feel its kind of nasty.
It felt as if she was somehow looking down on them, that she was hinting they didn’t live up to what dating Valentine French was all about. It just made me think, what exactly does she feel is so attractive about her, why does she think she’s such a catch.

Logan, a great guy, loved him and the way the locals respected him.
When things went wrong between him and Valentine the first time he overreacted, IMO. Acted like a thwarted teen. Just ASK man, that’s all you have to do. He of all people should know about that kind of situation and how the truth gets twisted.
The second time I had more sympathy for him, but somehow by then I’d got a bit bored with the whole thing.
You may love it, lots of others do but for me, well, it was just between 2 and 3 stars.

Stars: two and a half, I did like a few bits but most of it I just didn’t enjoy.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

A Bride for a Day, Matchmaker Cafe Series Book 2, Pam Binder

A Bride for a Day (Matchmaker Cafe Series Book 2) by [Binder, Pam]

Genre:  Romance, Women’s fiction

My first book by this author so I didn’t know what to expect. Sadly its one that didn’t work. I think that though this author’s work is perfect for many readers I’m looking for something different. That’s life.
I was intrigued by the synopsis but in practice the story has so much more. Unfortunately it wasn’t what I look for in a novel, and unfolded in a way that left me with more questions than answers.

Everything happened so fast, one morning she’s at work as usual, then later that day she’s marrying Michael!
I understood – just- the issues around the marriage, but in practical terms I just don’t believe they would work. Arranging a wedding in such a short time too isn’t possible, Scotland might be the land of elopement but even then there were/are time restrictions. You cannot simply get married on the day you think of it…Legalities just don’t allow it and without some kind of explanation of how they got round them I can’t put that aside.

Then there’s the reasons: I thought Tatiana’s issues felt contrived, I didn’t see that the marriage would affect that, and I didn’t like her or her mum.
Michael’s film and image problems too, well, they may be real but marrying one day, filing for divorce the next isn’t going to change them. Studio heads don’t make decisions this way, they wouldn’t have given him the role so quickly just because he got married on a whim. That doesn’t scream stable and settled even if he could convince them he’d known CC a while. Especially when his involvement in Tatiana’s life is well known..the practicalities just wouldn’t work.

And then there’s the second thread, the description makes no mention of this, the sisters and the magical matchmaking. I was pretty confused when that all started, I love fantasy novels but this was just…odd…and I found it hard to believe in.
I hadn’t read the first book, thinking it wouldn’t matter as these are connected but stand alone reads, so maybe that would have helped me understand what was going on there. Perhaps? I don’t know.
As it was I felt it was a book that had maybe just too much packed into too short a space, as it’s just 133 pages long.

I didn’t ever feel I knew the characters more than just a surface gloss of them, and I wasn’t really invested in them or their issues. Either a longer book so more detail, or less complex story might possibly have made a difference for me, but of course not all books suit all readers, and for very many readers this book will be perfect as it is.

If you like light and fluffy, don’t bother about practicality and reality and are happy to accept the story as its presented then you’ll love this.
If like me you need reasons for decisions, ones that feel real and are practical/legal, and want to get to know your characters well then probably you won’t.

Stars: Two, too unbelievable for me – and I don’t mean the fantasy side, but the practicalities.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Asher Black, Parker S. Huntington

Asher Black, Parker S. Huntington

Asher Black: (Book 1 of The Five Syndicates Series) by [Huntington, Parker S.]

Genre:  Romance,

After reading this I was looking for more info on author, and astonished to read that its her first book and…she’s only 21! That came as a real shock as IMO its a very well written, polished novel, and I can only imagine what Parker is going to produce with a bit more experience! An author to watch.

So…I rarely read Mafia/biker/MC type novels. I just find usually they’re a combination of pet hates, grunting, monosyllabic alpha males and improbable story-lines.
I don’t mind a bit of artistic licence, a small leeway in what’s credible, but find these tend to stretch my beliefs too far.
Then there’s the Mafia type ones, where the MC kills indiscriminately all the way through but – hey he’s very good looking so we’ll just ignore all those dead bodies…that really annoys me.

Parker contacted me though and offered an ARC.
As I have KU I chose to read it that way, feeling as its a genre I wouldn’t usually choose that was fairer than accepting an ARC and writing a low review if I didn’t like it, when I know that its very likely it won’t be a read that suits me.

And I was wrong, very wrong.
Yes Asher is Alpha male, but very literate, very intelligent and not prone to the grunting commands I so hate. His decisions are thought through thoroughly, he works hard at his business, has built it up from nothing and is careful about his position.
There are rumours about his Mafia background, it suits him to say nothing. He’s killed in the past, had Mafia connections but as he explains to Lucy, that’s not who he is now. Even the murders when explained I could understand. I don’t need to agree always with a characters actions, but I do need to understand the motivation, the reason why, before I can say – OK that’s in the past and get behind him or her.

The plots in this book are pretty well set out, easy to follow and felt credible, maybe stretched what’s acceptable a bit much at times ( the way he can sort Anything, literally anything it seems, whether its a parking ticket, ticket for something sold out, Lucy’s school issues or just having the cops help him cover up or gloss over an event) but somehow it all worked out and felt good.
So yes, the reason he’s needs a fiancee isn’t that original, but it works, and with so many stories around there’s always an overlap of some plots.
For me Parker made this story work, caught me up in the tale, anticipating events that played out, getting caught out by ones I didn’t see.
I love drama, its the one thing that Mafia/MC reads do well and I enjoy. Its just the rest of the plots that usually have me avoiding them. Maybe I need to take a closer look at some in future 😉 Here Parker got plenty of it in – and I loved it. I would have liked a bit more downs towards the end, I do love sad parts too so long as I get a HEA!

There’s a great group of characters here, and I love that Parker includes some nasties, some real bi tch ladies. They always add to the fun for me, I do love to see them built up then brought down 😉
There’s some great heat in this, some serious sensuality that’s well done. I hate when sex overtakes a story, here Parker has the balance just right.

Overall its a book I loved, totally against what I expected. The Mafia connection is mainly in the past and really only a small part of the story, and there’s so very much more to this read than Mafia murders…

Stars: five, a really fun and sensual read, a romance I thoroughly enjoyed. Perfect drama for me 😉

Read via KU at authors request.

The A-List Diet, Fred Pescatore. Tom, Ann Voss Peterson

The A-List Diet, Lose up to 15 Pounds and Look and Feel Younger in Just 2 Weeks, Fred Pescatore

The A-List Diet: Lose up to 15 Pounds and Look and Feel Younger in Just 2 Weeks by [Pescatore, Fred]

Genre: Health, Mind & Body

Hmnnn, if like me you’ve been in a lifelong weight battle that headline Lose up to 15 Pounds and Look and Feel Younger in Just 2 Weeks will appeal. So I eagerly dived into this book and….
Well, if you’ve a Science degree maybe you’ll follow it better. My degree is Law, and some of those papers were pretty dull, but they had nothing on this.
It felt like my poor word selection lookup on my paperwhite was in use several times on far too many pages with all the fancy/complex terms he uses.
I’ll pick a page totally at random and quote a few lines just so you can see what I mean about words. Ok, its loc 1194: “…of the cell to the mitochrondria, where it is used to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fuel that powers all cellular activity”. Further down that page he talks about Aspartic acid being good for the mind, increasing NADH which boosts production of neurotransmitters, and removes excess toxins from cells especially ammonia, which is damaging to the brain.
You thought this was a diet book didn’t you? A magic fix to help you lose that stone quickly. Well, there are recipes and ordinary-ish advice, but they come quite a way into the book after you battled through all the science stuff first, and read about recommended tablets etc. And of course there’s lots of them, but it’s OK, Fred sells them.
So he starts off with a week long detox, assuring us we will not get hungry, and citing a patient who had persistent and so far untreatable pain and fatigue issues. She was one of the first to try his detox, and after looked like a whole new person! She lost 8 lbs, regained colour to her face, and talked about going back to work after she’d thought she wouldn’t ever be able to. Sounds a little miraculous to me.
Of course there’s also the proviso found in all diet books, the one we never pay attention to, that says check with your GP before starting and you may not lose as much weight as suggested.

So what is the detox? Well, basically nothing for first two days except water and herbal teas, then a little broth after that. Later in the week we get to add…eggs, then avocado and finally a few nuts and fish. And the pills of course: a good multi-vitamin, which he sells at 2 three times a day, a detox supplement formula ( again he makes one) at 2 three times a day, and one Reg’Active ( that’s what’s written,not sure what it is) twice per day. Its not hard to see how a week of this will result in weight loss, but a lot harder for me to believe I won’t be hungry, especially the first two days!
After that it depends on what sort of person you are as to what you eat, he breaks people down into six different types and treats each differently, which I found interesting. There’s some pretty comprehensive lists of foods according to what type of person you are, but they seem to be mainly along the lines of lean protein and vegetables, avoiding carbs and starchy veg and including only a little fruit.
It kind of makes sense as these foods are good for the body and do increase metabolism, but I’m not yet convinced.
One issue I have as a UK reader is that I know many of these foods by a different name, but there are also many that I haven’t a clue what they are, and they’re certainly not available in the rural part of the country where I live.
I know the internet is great for sourcing most stuff, but not fresh food. I’m thinking of creme fraiche qurut, coconut butter soy milk ( unless maybe that’s two things and a misprint?), queso fresco Gervais, chaource, eposses, harz, livarot ( that doesn’t sound good for liver 😉 ) caprini, abondance….you see what I mean here? This is just a fraction of the list. Once past week one and the supplements needed there, we need more for the next parts of the diet, specially formulated by Fred.

What I like about the diet is no calorie counting, no fat gram counting and long lists of foods that can be eaten ( even if I don’t know what many of them are). I enjoy reading about why and how certain things work, it helps me to stick to a diet when i know, for example, that lean protein boots metabolism which in turn helps fat burning.
There’s a useful section of recipes included in the second half of the book, but they are once more pretty complex. For example breakfast of fried egg and gruyere on a bed of avocado has nine ingredients and mexican fried eggs has thirteen..vegetable soup has seventeen, stuffed chicken and squash ribbons has fifteen. I find the more ingredients, the less likely I am to make a recipe for every day use. Too long in the kitchen and I want to nibble.
I do like that Fred sells the specific tablets needed.

What I don’t like about this book though is that Fred sells tha tablets. Yep, that’s ight, I do and don’t lie it. Do in that its easy to get them ( in US anyway), and don’t in that the cynic in me is thinking do we really need them? Is this just a way to get more money out of people?
Then IMO he goes too far in the explainations, blinding the reader with scientific terms and stats and words we’ve never heard of. That makes me a bit suspicious, maybe I’m just a cynic, but I like simple transparency. Not everyone is like me though, some like the fuller texts.
Back at work some 20 years ago I was talking to a head teacher about one of the floors we cleaned. I told him I’d brought a new product for the cleaner to use, no machine polishing needed, as it was a new trial of a self shining, floor sheen emulsion. Or something like that… It was a tiny school, very little profit and the company wouldn’t spring for the expense of a floor polisher. If I’d said no need for a machine I’ve got a different polish, he wouldn’t have been happy. Suggest its something new and fancy and he was. Some people need the complexity more than they want the transparency. I guess its like needing scientific terms to let you be able to believe, rather than just understand how it works.
I think in theory this is a good weight loss book – if you can stick to it and don’t mind spending lots on supplements.
I think the headline 15 lbs in 2 weeks is something most people will focus on and few will achieve. Celebrity diets are fine, they tend to have chefs to source, weight, measure and cook everything, but for the ordinary person I can’t see this book being really helpful.
For me its not a diet that appeals, I’d rather get my vitamins and nutrients from real food than a pill.

Stars: Three, for me its not tempting but I guess it might appeal to others who are dedicated to what they eat, and have patience to follow this. It does have some useful advice, even if its all locked up in jargon and soundbites.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Tom, Ann Voss Peterson

Tom (Renegade Magic) by [Ann Voss Peterson]

Genre:  Romance, Mystery and thrillers

I knew this was a trilogy, written by three different authors, but didn’t realise each section would be so short, this part of the story is only just over 1000 kindle locations, around 80 pages I’d guess.

I have issues with shorts, novellas, I find they just don’t let me explore the characters and the story in the depth I need to enjoy it. That’s not so for everybody, many readers love the brevity of stories like this, especially those with little free time.

It did mean that though I found the story interesting, intriguing even, although I hadn’t read part one, but that I felt it was just too slick, cut and dried, easy answers.

Hardly had an event happened that the solution was found, everything was very quick with no time for the characters to mull over, make mistakes. It felt like problem, solution, sorted, within a few pages.

There’s such a lot going on here that it means nothing really gets explained, contains any great mysteries or needs deep thinking to ponder whats going to happen, because turn a few pages and it does 😉

Its well written, intriguing and has characters and a storyline I think I’d like if I could know them in more detail, but for me its all just too quick, too short.

If that’s what you want though, a quick, sensual read with a side of mystery and puzzles that get solved promptly, then this is a read you may love.

Stars: Three, its a good read, just too short for me.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

 

Back Piece, L.A. Witt. Too Hard to Forget, Tessa Bailey. Making Waves, A Beach Lane Novel, Laura Moore

Back Piece, L.A. Witt

Back Piece (Skin Deep Inc.) by [Witt, L.A.]

Genre:  Romance, LGBTQIA

Bit of a shock for me this one. L.A.Witt is one of my favourite m/m authors but I really struggled to finish this book. That came as a huge surprise!

The characters are good, the settings feel real, and the issues both of them have are more common that we think, and yet taken as a whole the book just didn’t work for me. It just didn’t seem to gel together into a tale that kept me reading.

Colin has issues, but they began to bog him down in the story, and we heard about them so much I was losing sympathy for him. That’s unfair I know, but too much of something like that just drags the readers spirit down and that’s how I felt.
I wanted to say to him, you’ve got all these loyal friends and family helping you, why are you doing this to yourself, and writing off the relationship before it gets a chance? And that was pretty unfair to him, but its human nature that we can only sympathise so much.
We’ve all got friends who have issues but tend to wallow in them, acting as if they’re the only one with problems, and that was how Colin began to feel for me, like the friend who when you see them coming your heart sinks a bit….

Same with Daniel, I get his awful homophobic upbringing, that’s too real for many but he’s not a kid anymore, he’s 25 now, and these’s a time when by not saying anything you’re tacitly letting people think their views are OK with you, that you agree. Its tough when its your parents, but was he going to spend all his life hiding, afraid of the fallout?
Gosh I sound horribly callous and I don’t mean to, I value family very much, but when they’re this blinkered they aren’t the wonderful family he’s telling himself.
So bits of the story worked, I loved the tale behind the tattoo for example, but as a whole for me this one just didn’t cut it, took me several attempts to finish and in the end i was just “Arrgh, I just want to be done with this story” and like I said that is So So unusual for me with a L.A.Witt read 😦

Won’t put me off of course, its inevitable that not all stories suit all readers, even when past ones from that author have done. It could be just this series doesn’t work for me, could be I love the rest in the series and its just this book. Who knows?

Stars: Two, an uncommon occurrence, an L.A.Witt read I struggled with.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Too Hard to Forget,  Tessa Bailey

Too Hard to Forget (Romancing the Clarksons Book 3) by [Bailey, Tessa]

Genre:  Romance,

I’ve loved some of Tessa’s books and thought this sounded perfect. My bad though, I knew it was third in a series and thought they were that stand alone but connected by characters and events sort, where they can be read individually. This one though is too interconnected, there’s too much the reader really needs to know about what happened in other books to enjoy properly without having read them.
My fault, I made an assumption and should have looked further.

Peggy, I just didn’t really understand her. Pining over Elliot OK, I understood that, but to have been engaged four times in three years?? That’s pretty harsh on those guys, and makes me think of her as shallow and uncaring of their feelings, rather than someone so in love or hankering for someone from her past.
She’s fun, bright and breezy but almost too much so, she feels quite shallow. Even when she does intervene, as with Alice, she gets the right result but by default, not intention. I just didn’t really understand her, but wanted to.

Elliot, if ever a guy to the cake for Mr Grumpy its him. He’s sour, rude, selfish (after all he was the adult and she a pupil/student even though she was 22), and seems to blame her for his feelings.
There’s certainly incredible lust between them still, sensuality that sears, but for me that didn’t really translate to any deeper feelings. I couldn’t see what connection other than lust they could have, they were really total opposites.
I didn’t like either how he was so happy to leave his 12 year old daughter home alone all the while. She’s a kid, you’re her dad, act like it.
As for his religious feelings, and the praying, rosary caressing, well he just didn’t feel that kind of guy, that just felt plain strange, odd.
Wouldn’t most 22/25 years olds get weirded out by a guy who starts praying aloud when having sex?

Which brings me to background, and the fact that maybe if I’d read the first two books I’d understand much more of this one, and that what feels weird to me would have a proper explanation that made it fit better. Don’t know, but after some of the great reads I’ve enjoyed of hers this one was a fail 😦 Sorry.

Stars: Two, perfectly well written but I really need to read books one and two first to understand the characters.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Making Waves, A Beach Lane Novel,  Laura Moore

Making Waves: A Beach Lane Novel by [Moore, Laura]

Genre:  romance,

I’ve enjoyed a couple of Laura’s novels but this one is by far the best, its hard to say why exactly but it’s just one of those that pulled me in quickly and kept me absorbed to the end.

I love Dakota, she’s had a horrible background, one of those where she’s tolerated -just- by her mother’s family, and really treated as if she should be grateful for every scrap of attention.
They’ve always let her know she’s not quite good enough, illegitimate, doesn’t know her father and a blot on the family name. You’d think her mother Piper would carry the blame but its not that way.
She’s grown up very self reliant, made her own way in life and set up her concierge company, building on what she knows, how to sooth and cater for every whim of the rich and pretentious that live/holiday in the Hamptons. She’s made some good friends there too, not all the rich are shallow and spoiled, and she values those who see her for what she is, and not just as the outcast Hale.

Max, what a man. Loved him, and the tension between them, the sizzle just burned off the page from their first meeting.
Dakota doesn’t get involved with clients though and tells him that. He’s not used to hearing no, and Dakota is someone he just can’t seem to let go. Usually he’d just move on, never short of someone to fall at his feet, well his wallet too…
I loved the way he carefully kept pursuing Dakota, knowing she really wanted him as much as he wanted her. Clever to use her love of surfing to spend time with her, and from there they moved into – well, hot and sensual sex but a bit more too.
Dakota wants a family of her own eventually, she knows Max isn’t interested in that, but still can’t seem to let go, telling herself its just a casual relationship with an expiry date at some point.
Max too finds he’s breaking his usual roles, letting her into his life, when usually the rules are clear, it’s a fling, casual, fine while its on and when times up he’s off.

Then there’s a hiccup, brought on by Dakota’s love of family and traditions and his steering away from anything resembling that – and that was a very emotional part, I so felt for Dakota, just trying to be nice.
They’re off, and though the parting seems OK they are both sad, regretful, but don’t know what else they can do. They want different things in life and that’s all there is to it. Oil and water don’t mix.

There’s more though, something happens that brings them together again, puts them right in the forefront of Society gossip, threatening Dakota’s hard won business and Max’s work position.
It doesn’t stop there, even more comes out, secrets on both sides that really pull at the heart, and things that could threaten the current fragile relationship between them. Its easy to see how their delicate new connection could easily get derailed.

Dakota had some great friends and I loved seeing them. They really valued her, saw her as a person, and got so angry at how Piper and Mimi treated her. There’s that saying about friends being people who’d help you hide a body, and Dakota’s would just say where is it, and come armed with a shovel. ( and probably champagne if it was Piper or Mimi!!)
I’m hoping that one of those friends, Lauren, is in for a book of her own, she’s got a very sad past, and deserves a shot at happiness for herself and her two children.
It would be great to stay with this group of characters and see more of how their lives develop.

I love the not so nice people too in a story, they add that sharp edge a good romance needs for me, the balance to the happy side.
Dakota’s mother, Piper was a classic rich b itch, brought up to assume the world revolves around her and her wants. She treats Dakota as though she should be grateful to have her as a parent, when in fact she’s a hopeless mother, no maternal instincts, and takes every opportunity to belittle her.
Throw in a bitter aunt who resents the success she’s made of her life, and an uncle who we don’t actually meet but know he regards her as a nonentity and its no wonder she’s learned to rely on herself, work her own way in the world. She could have been a horrible person – and yet she’s wonderful, a great friend, kind to those who need help, hard working and ethical.

I was so happy at the ending, and loved the drama that came up on the way to it. I would have liked those parts to be drawn out a teeny- teeny bit longer – but that’s just me, I like people to really hit rock bottom,love to wallow in the sad bits and that would have just been glitter on the icing of a fantastic cake.

Stars: Five, a fabulous read, full of emotion and drama.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Blade Bound, A Chicagoland Vampires Novel, Chloe Neill. Eternal Reign, Melody Johnson

Blade Bound, A Chicagoland Vampires Novel, Chloe Neill

Blade Bound: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel (Chicagoland Vampires Series) by [Neill, Chloe]

Genre:  Romance,

It seems aaages since i read the first in this series, pre-kindle when I could still read text. I loved it and reread it and the other very early ones several times. Then That happened, the Ethan Disaster which spoiled it for me, I didn’t think I’d continue but saw from reviews of a later book that he was back! So I picked it up once more and continued.

I’ve always had an issue though with this and similar books where the main character is a new supernatural of some sort and yet manages to do all the things that the old, hundreds of years old, others can’t. How? Why are they so different? How come they never have all the stumbling blocks new vampires, werewolves, dragons et al do?
And that’s what got me a bit irritated, that it seemed like each story was Merit Saves The Day Yet Again * Sigh * and I stopped. Then saw this on netgalley, wondered how the series would end, got approved and needed to play catch up and buy the previous four books I’d not read #slappedwrist

Reading the last five back to back it felt very much as if I was reading the same story, just tinkered with…and that brought back memories of Sookie S when I felt the same 😦 that perhaps the series would have been better cut back a few books. There’s only so many new discoveries two new supernaturals like Merit and Mallory can make. I guess its down to two sides, group A wants more about Ethan Merit and the crew whatever the issues, they just want to read more and don’t care about the feeling of repetition. That’s lots of readers, I know from other series some just don’t want to let go of a group and will read anything connected to them. then there’s group B, where I fall, that wants stories that are believable and different, even though its fantasy it has to feel that if a happened B could result. the early books were exactly that for me, and maybe f there’d been a longer story timeline rather than the just over a year between book one and the last things may have felt that way for me.

So here we are, full circle in a way with Gabriel’s prophecy still hanging in Ethan and Merit’s minds. Actually the way that got explained/came about was well done IMO, something that made sense in the way that magic and fantasy can make a kind of sense. That bit of fantasy-reality that has you thinking “oh yes, so that happened, and therefore this was able to come about”.

We start this book with pre wedding celebrations, and from there its yet again another magical puzzle to solve, Chicago under threat, calls for supernaturals to take all the blame, humans decrying it’s Not Their Fault, let the supes take the blame. They’ve short memories when it comes to recalling that many of the past problems came about through human greed, and the supernaturals risked much to save human lives.
So much felt like I’d read it all before in those last few books. It was well written, tightly plotted and made sense in the way it played out but….it didn’t feel fresh, unique, the way those first ones did.

There’s lots of drama once more, some of Mallory’s on-the-fly magic combined with lots of theory and Catcher’s voice of reason – I love his character.
We haven’t seen much of Gabriel these last few books, he’s here but in very minor position, and I’d really have liked all the supernaturals to have pulled together for the Big Battle.
Finally the RG get more involved but once more looking back to the beginning I always thought they’d play a greater part.
I guess I’d just have a better chance of believing things will work in the future for everyone if they’d all been working on the solution, rather than Cadogan house, Mallory, Catcher and the Ombuddies.
A year of manic mayhem, scary deaths, tragedies, violence, disaster and suddenly everyone will live peacefully? What happens when the next issue arises? Will Ethan and Merit pick up their Katanas once more and wade in or claim other responsibilities, let someone else sort it?
If all forces had joined in this last book and been part of the solution I’d have believed they’d have a better chance of peace. Still, its fiction, the series has ended and it’ll be perfect for many readers 🙂

Overall the series starts off a five for me, with later books dropping drastically and I guess comes out a 3 to 4. This final book assessed alone though is a four for me, maybe a four and a half, pretty good but could have been better.

Stars: Four, pretty good but at times felt a little repetitive, and the final solution could have been better IMO.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Eternal Reign,  Melody Johnson

Eternal Reign (The Night Blood Series) by [Johnson, Melody]

Genre:  Sci-fi and Fantasy

Cassidy has come such a long way since the first book, yet its only been a few weeks. From knowing nothing about Vampires, she’s now gained so much first hand knowledge and yet still I get the sense she’s far more to learn.
Dominic is facing his levelling, a vulnerable time when usually his second would be there for him but Gillian isn’t, she betrayed him recently and she’s looking set to take over from him.
She’s amassing an army of Damned vampires, fierce, blood thirsty creatures that have little reasoning, just an instinct to kill and feed.
People are dying each night, the police have no idea what they are facing, Cassidy can’t reveal all through her reporter job, much though she’d love to, and if it continues the city will face an onslaught of deaths that makes the current ones look like nothing.
Dominic is losing his powers fast, but having to hide it from the coven, vampires gravitate to the strongest and he needs as much support as he can against Gillian, Cassidy isn’t a night blood anymore after her last injuries, and the battle is looming up.

Its another fast paced story, death, blood and gore, but with enough strength in the characters to lift it for me from a horror to something I enjoyed. I can’t take blood and gore if there’s not some way of lightening the story, some romance to balance all the hate.
Dominic clearly has feelings for Cassidy but she’s not admitting hers to him, or even to herself.
Now in this novel she needs to make some hard choices, about her job, her friends, her feelings for Dominic. I love the way Dominic treats her with respect even when he must find her incredibly frustrating – I know I would, with her insistence on “the people’s right to know”….knowing what faces his people if knowledge comes out.
Historically humans have sought to destroy any one, any group they feel aren’t human, looking at what we’ve done to witches in the past, and of course even those of a different religious persuasion and yet she seems to think that nothing bad will happen if vampires are exposed. I can’t decide if she’s deluded, naive or just plain stupid 🙂

Dominic has a typical vampire regard for humans, they’re just not important compared to his coven, he’s out to protect them at any cost even if it means killing people.
He doesn’t kill indiscriminately, doesn’t kill to feed for example, but thinks nothing of killing to protect his people if he feels there’s no other option.

There’s so much going on here, the story of the Levelling, the quest for Master of the city, the Damned vampires and now the Daywalker involvement, and among all that there’s the romance that’s slowly developing between Cassidy and Dominic.
Its another story I was glued to, really enjoyed and damn it, that ending…arrgghh…I hate when authors do that. #nocliffhangers

Stars: Five, another terrific read and c’mon, after that ending, I really hope the next book is soon!

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Dark Moon Wolf, Calling the Moon, Sarah E. Stevens. Once Bitten, Heather McCorkle

Once Bitten, Heather McCorkle

Once Bitten (The Wolves of Hemlock Hollow) by [McCorkle, Heather]

Genre:  Romance,

My first read of Heather’s novels, but I love the werewolf genre and this sounded fun.
I found it a little – well – bland I guess? It was well written, the characters were all clearly set out and the take of the werewolf genre had some fresh additions. Sounds good doesn’t it?
However I just found the story dragged, with nothing much happening until the last 20% or so. Even then I found that for a group so set in rules and hierarchy the story-line went well off track.

I couldn’t see how all these things, all these anarchist actions wouldn’t have been seen coming, if those in charge had been taking note. Its hard to see a rigid, supposedly strong and well run system fall down so badly by the actions of such inept characters.
There didn’t seem to have been much thought or planning of what would happen,  and the ones creating the mayhem were strangely lacking in intelligence and strategy.
The story-line is sound, and things like this do happen but it needed to have characters that were capable of planning and executing such a strategy for me to believe it.

Its kind of a one plot book too, in that Sonya’s transforming was a part of that overall plot. I liked Ty, apart from his manner of speaking which proved irritating after a time, but he was so laid back he was almost horizontal, which didn’t fit so well with his thoughts on throwing everything, disregarding all the rules, because he was so attracted to Sonya. I anted to say “get a grip man, its only for a couple of weeks!!” The man I thought he was would have done just that, not been mulling constantly about giving in to temptation.
Its one of those reads that feels very simplistic, not complex drama but a quick easy read. Depends what you want – and its different for everyone, for me its more often the complex drama that does it.

First books in a series have a hard task and for me this one doesn’t quite live up to the promise of the description. I’m undecided as to whether I want to continue with it. I’ll see nearer the time I guess, how much other things I’ve got on and whether I’m pulled in by the description. I’m not saying I would read more, not saying its a no go for me but I am on the fence over it.

Stars: two and a half, a good premise but it needs a bit more action and drama, a little more speed for me. Maybe in the later books?

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Dark Moon Wolf, Calling the Moon, Sarah E. Stevens

Dark Moon Wolf (Calling the Moon Book 1) by [Stevens, Sarah E.]

Genre:  General Fiction, Sci-fi and Fantasy

Well, I love paranormal/Fantasy, and wolf shifters in particular appeal to me. I was keen to read this, a first in what hopefully would turn out to be a new and fun series.
I’d made the mistake of thinking this was romance, isn’t not classed as that, simply my error and not looking carefully enough. That’s not a game-changer though, I read books other than romance too 🙂 Just that it came as a surprise to find out some things early in the story.

Its an interesting read, Sarah has put a slightly different slant on shifter practicalities and categories which was good, kept that part fresh.
The story though didn’t really work totally for me. There was just so much in it, the search for Carson’s dad, meeting the new people, finding out about werewolves and witches…Julie was incredibly blase about all the new things she was learning.
Then the murders. there was a lot of action, lots going on and I just had a hard time believing things would play out as easily as they did.
Don’t get me wrong – there was struggle, lots of it but given Julie is human and new to all this supernatural stuff she did really well. the other werewolves too has a very hard task solving the murders, they’d been cleverly done by someone who was clever and had lots of backing, and I just couldn’t see things playing out quite the way they did without Huge, Massive repercussions.
I didn’t guess who was involved til quite far on when there’s a really – to the reader- obvious clue but Julie completely misses it.

It looks like a debut novel, I can’t find any more books. Its well written but I just felt there was a little too much packed tightly into a novel that was just a bit too short for it. If the story was a bit longer so the action could have been made more realistic, and not have “Clue, and wow – here’s the Perpetrator” plots that these shorter novels need I think its one I’d love.

A first in series has a hard ask too, setting the scene, introducing new characters, and in the case of fantasy/paranormal, other types of people, and all the while leading a story to keep the readers interest. This one does OK for me, but of course will be perfect for others. That’s how it goes, we don’t all want the same thing thankfully!

Stars: Three, a good start to fiction writing, and a new series, but for me needed a little more reality and practicalities.

BTW Full/Lily: does she remind anyone else of Dolly Parton? For some reason she’s all I see each time Full comes into the story

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Beauty and the Book Boyfriend, K.M. Galvin and Interlude, FourMain 1, Kay Halliday.

Beauty and the Book Boyfriend, K.M. Galvin

Beauty and the Book Boyfriend by [Galvin, K.M.]

Genre:  Romance, General fiction

A book about and author and her books….interesting I thought. Well, it was…and it wasn’t.

The idea was interesting, Bell and her friend/PA are on a tour promoting the final book in the series, and painfully self-conscious, publicity avoiding Bell has to dress up as the book heroine Mykala, while they bring in a model dressed as Max, along with his PA to accompany her.
Road tour with people who’ve never met but are spending the next two months in very close proximity, could be fun, could be a disaster.

I had issues with Bell, I get she’s self conscious but she doesn’t always act like it, appearing brash and over confident sometimes and at other times its causing her to have panic attacks.
She’s kind of rude too, to Caleb. Fair enough at first meeting he was a jerk and deserved it, but she continues even while they’ve formed a friendship.

I just wasn’t convinced of the enemies to freinds to lovers and maybe more in their story. I’m not really sure why though, I can’t quite work out what it is that stops me believing in them but something does. I think the real crux is that I wasn’t keen on any of the characters that much, I just didn’t really get a feel for them as real people, and that’s so important to me.

It’ll be a perfect read for others of course, and I’m glad for them. We all look for different things and though this one wasn’t for me it was well written and I’d be happy to try another by this author.

Stars: Two, sadly not one for me.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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Interlude, FourMain 1, Kay Halliday.

Interlude (FourMain Book 1) by [Halliday, Kay]

Genre:  Romance, New Adult

I love the Rock Star genre, but this is a story about rock stars, not one set in the active touring/songwriting/recording world.
I can’t find any other books by Kay, so assume this is her debit novel and it’s very well done for a first novel.

I did find though at times it dragged, usually I love long novels, but sometimes this one seemed as though they were hashing and rehashing things out so much I switched off. The same things came out in just slightly different way it felt.
That’s my main criticism about the book, its an excellent story but could (IMO of course! not everyones) have been tightened up a bit, with some parts made clearer, strengthened.
I’m thinking of things such as exactly why Kendrick and Eliza were apart, when its clear they’re both still deeply in love, he’s visiting her and the kids most days.
There’s this undefinable “something” that’s caused it and I found it frustrating not knowing what the issue was. I felt I’d missed reading a section maybe and even skimmed back to check. that carries on throughout the book and I just couldn’t see why they were apart. Given its such a huge thing, a major plot in the story, I needed to know sooner, and when right near the end it finally comes out it felt wrong, very anti-climatic. Life just doesn’t work like that, we don’t know whats coming, how we’d react, we just have to roll with it.

The first half was a little slow for me, and I did skim a few scenes…*blush* wanting to get to the meat of the story.
The last third was so perfect though, really set up the scenes, provided lots of excitement and drama, right up my street.
I’m hoping in later books this part gets continued, its a potentially great story-line, providing lots of potentially vituperative and nasty scenes. This book has lots of good people in, and the label owner, a real unpleasant greedy controlling man, isn’t actually in this novel, we just hear about him.
I’d like to see some nasties – him or some like him – in later books to provide a balance to all the good characters in this one.

Overall an excellent first book and I look forward to more.

Stars: Four, a really interesting read, with lots of emotion and drama.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

How to Bang a Billionaire, Alexis Hall and Wake Up Call, JL Merrow

How to Bang a Billionaire,  Alexis Hall
 
How to Bang a Billionaire (Arden St. Ives Book 1) by [Hall, Alexis]

Genre: Romance,

I’ve enjoyed several of Alexis’ reads now, he delivers a solid storyline with a side of romance that I can believe in, that has the edge on so many romance reads by making the stories fresh and unusual, the characters just that bit different.
On the face of it Arden and Caspian are unlikely lovers, total opposites and yet together they work. Not without some serious issues though 😉 Well, who wants a love story that runs smoothly, boring.
I was a little underwhelmed by the ending, it seemed for so long they were struggling, and then in the last few chapters there’s a glimmer of hope for the future, but it felt very HFN rather than HEA and I was just disappointed. I wanted more. As it was I would have rated four stars, I just needed more conclusion.
And then I came to write my review, looked on Goodreads to see what else I’d enjoyed from Alexis and found – hurrah – this ISN’T the end, there’s more – two books more, in Arden St. Ives 2 and 3, due out later this year.
That changes everything, I understand now why there wasn’t that happy ever after, why it felt inconclusive and of course I can rate as a part story, not as a complete one, and that’s the magic five because I loved it, and am looking forward to seeing where life and love takes these two next.

So what did I love? Arden, wonderful, glorious Arden.
I adore characters like him, he’s small, slight, prone to dressing in a unique style – I want his T shorts, and his velvet jacket. I love fabrics, love the feel of velvets, satin, lace, a bit of glitter and sparkle and t-shirts that stand out from the mundane. My daughter reckons I’ve never grown out of my teen glam rock style of the seventies…. Why should only ladies get to love things like that?
Arden felt like a guy friend, a person I could know, I understood his Klutziness (oops, just wrote Clitziness…nope he’s definitely not that!) He’s very confident in who he is though, not hiding his attraction to men as so many people still feel they have to, and that’s good to read. Tough still in real life though, sadly there’s still too much bigotry and judgement, and too many hiding who they are.
He’s a good student, must have worked very hard to get to Oxford given his background and the struggles he and his mum have had. They’re very close, yet she’s clearly encouraged him to stretch himself, be ambitious. Trouble is like many students he’s not sure what comes next. Put everything into finals and now its almost over, he’s uncertain what to do.
In keeping with his general pleasant and helpful personality he’s manning a phone line one evening, his friend who should be doing it is sick and Arden been roped in. He’s calling old Alumni, reading from the crib script, trying to persuade them to donate to the university, and inviting them to the annual dinner for old and current students and staff. He’s not having much luck so far, and then he calls up Caspian Hart.
Delighted that someone doesn’t hang up once he’s delivered his opening spiel he’s thrown off course, forgets what he’s asking, fumbles and rambles.
Oh yes, that’s me on the phone, I hate it. Like Arden just here, my mind switches off the minute someone answers, so I understood exactly how he could go from an intelligent student to rambling motor-mouth in a passing sentence!
Caspian isn’t used to that, and …he’s quietly intrigued. The rich and powerful like him get told what people think they want to hear, not the truth. No one is ever as open as Arden. They chat a little, Arden delivers his spiel and the invitation and that’s it. So he thinks. And then the dinner evening arrives and brings Caspian. Neither are quite what the other expected, they are so totally opposite and yet the attraction between them leaps off the page.

Its an off, on, off sort of affair. It starts that evening in an unusual way, and ends abruptly. Then Arden discovers the Arden St Ives Scholarship and is furious, embarrassed, insulted, upset. Who wouldn’t be? And in what world did Caspian live that he thought this would be a good thing? Arden steams up to London, determined to have it out. Oh, that part was wonderful; fiery, small, Arden in one of his unique t-shirts, hair awry, velvet jacket with holes, frayed rainbow bracelets, storming into a hallowed bastion of prestige and money.
Caspian ought to be furious, he’s in an important meeting, but once more Arden pulls at him, makes him feel things he’s not used to. He explains what he intended  though to Arden, that he didn’t mean to offend, he’s anguished at how he’s upset him, never realised he’d see things that way.
He then tells him that he Doesn’t Do Relationships. He has predetermined connections. There Are Rules. Everything is planned, ordered, fits a schedule and has a fixed in advance end date.
Poor Caspian, he seems to have to be in control of every bit of his life, even down to sex. Opposites as I said, as Arden is all about the unplanned, in the moment hook-ups. Til now. Til Caspian. He wants more, Caspian can only give within his boundaries.

Moving on, its the night before the final exam, Arden can’t sleep, is mind is rambling,  “thought about calling home but didn’t see any reason to worry the s hit out of my family” Then he gets a call and it all begins..sort of 😉

Its a wonderful story, I can hear Arden’s voice in my head so well, I felt just how he was feeling. I understood when he was upset at Caspian’s actions, and yet I also understood why Caspian did things, he was trying, in a scene he wasn’t used to, floundering and doing his best to keep control. One look, one word from Arden though and he’s lost. I love how he says so often” Arden, my Arden…” There’s so much feeling comes through from just those three words. Some authors could write pages and not deliver such emotion as they contain. Sometimes Less if More.

Usually I’m all about dialogue books, and not the inner monologue type, yet here Arden is internally talking to himself much of the time and it works for me, whereas usually that would put me off. Maybe because its something I do all the while, talk to myself, mentally muse on things.
He feels so familiar, feels like a friend, and as a klutz, lost for words at times, shambling through life person I can identify with him. Gender really doesn’t matter, its what sort of person you are and Arden is me, always waiting for the other shoe to fall, convinced someone is going to call fraud at times. When he’s in One Park Lane, and worries about calling up food, the cleaners, what he should be doing, whether this or that is the right thing to do that’s me. Every decision is preceded by lots of wondering, thinking, musing whether I should do x or y, or maybe z would be better….

He’s got some wonderful phrases and a cracking sense of humour, very irreverent at times. Wish I had the lines, but the humour is right up my street! When he’s drunk too much “..more of my innards wanted to be outards…” and “…animated Watership Down which incidentally is not a movie that should ever be shown to kids. That s hit is Stephen King terrifying…” I loved that book, took my kids to the film and like Arden was horrified by it. Its gruesome, nightmarish, though it has to be said I was the only one to get nightmares from it, the kids were fine!

One perfect line sums up their relationship ” He didn’t take control from me. I gave it to him” Arden knows what he wants sexually, he likes to be dominated, but he’s not a pushover, not a victim. Sadly he’s finding it hard to get Caspian to see it that way. Seems even though Caspian knows what he wants and needs, he doesn’t like it. He’s always afraid of taking advantage of Arden, always worrying about hurting him.
There’s a world of miscommunication between them contributing to the issues they have. They can say the same sentence, but each mean something entirely different it feels to me.
I really want them to find a way through, to be together and happy and am really looking forward to the next two books. And I didn’t intend to write so much – see, like Arden I ramble…

Stars: five, a terrific read, great characters that feel so real, and I’m dying to get more of them.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
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Wake Up Call,  JL Merrow

Wake Up Call (Porthkennack Book 1) by [Merrrow, JL]

Genre:  romance, LGBTQIA

I’ve read a couple of JLM novels, and liked the look of this one – and it was great fun to read.

Devan, what a great lad. eternally optimistic, always read to see the good in others, despite the harsh realities of life for kids like him, fostered out to people who sometimes genuinely care, but more often are in it for the money, seeing it as a job rather than wanting to give kids a home. Then at 18 its out, on your own, the state washes its hands. Isn’t that shameful? Still, Dev is just such a wonderful character despite all that I couldn’t help falling a bit on love with him 😉
He’s on a search for his roots, and its taken him to Cornwall where he meets Kyle.

Kyle, he’s in a bit of a down-spell, recently diagnosed with Narcolepsy and Cataplexia, and like most people he – and I – knew little of the realities. Its not just napping at inconvenient moments, but something that’s unpredictable, hard to treat and lifelong. A couple of medicines and some herbs aren’t going to put his life back to what it was. There is help though, treatment to manage the condition and with some life changes he could still have a decent future, He’s in retreat though, determined not to take anything, not to give in, and yet what he’s doing is exactly that. It takes Dev and his kindness, his sense of fun and adventure to show Kyle there is hope.

Along the way they have hiccups, plenty of them, and sometimes it seems each good time for Kyle and Dev ends in yet another row, another one that has Dev stomping off, only to turn up later with apologies.
He’s only there for three weeks though, so what comes next, when he lives in London, and they have such disparate backgrounds, can they make things work, is there a future for them. I was so rooting for one, Kyle is a lovely man and he needed someone like Dev to balance him, and likewise he was so good for Dev, even someone so supportive of others needs someone to lean on himself.

Along the way we meet some fabulous characters, Dev’s sister and his friend Mal, the landladies, Ceri who works locally in the cafe and is hard to get along with at first. Dev’s not easily rebuffed though and just what she needs, someone who cares and who makes her see all is not lost, she’s had a hard time recently, problems that happen to too many teens. Then there’s her uncle Jago, her dad, the two girls on holiday – its a real mix of characters much like real life.

Stars: Five, a real fun read with some serious issues within it.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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Blog of Author Mishka Jenkins

Book Gossips

We are four cousins hailing from Australia. Love of books runs in our family and we have decided to share our exhilirating gossip sessions with you. Here you can find book reviews from multiple genres, bringing you the best of buzz worthy popular fiction.

Brandy L Rivers

New York Times and USA Today Best selling Author